Prominent Chinese online retailers Alibaba and JD.com have reported over $55 billion worth of sales in total midway through the so called Singles’ Day – a shopping holiday popular among people in China who celebrate their single status, a sort of antithesis to Valentine’s Day.
This year’s Singles’ Day, which was adopted by Alibaba as a marketing tool about a decade ago, also became the first such event for the company since Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma stepped down in September.
As Alibaba kicked off the event with a concert by Taylor Swift at a Shanghai stadium on Sunday night, the company announced that sales on its platforms amounted to 205.7 billion yuan ($29.4 billion) between midnight and mid-afternoon, with JD.com reporting a slightly smaller figure, 179.4 billion yuan ($25.6 billion).
Despite the booming sales, however, some consumers appeared reluctant to participate in the shopping craze.
"I feel like the difference (in price) is not that big, and since everyone's buying all at once, the logistics and delivery are slower. I think that it's actually better for me to buy when not everyone's buying," a migrant worker in Beijing named Yang Wei explained.